Four Reasons Tracking Volunteer Time = Value

Allocating already stretched school resources to calculate volunteer time is often a low priority. However, volunteer time, although unpaid, is a valuable metric to have, and leverage. Here, at App-Garden, we have identified four of the top reasons to incorporate volunteer time tracking into your school’s policy

  1. Quantify the value of volunteers. No doubt you understand the underestimated value of volunteers as one of the necessary resources for many school functions. From athletic concessions to reading time in the library, volunteers are a vital lifeline for school districts. While school districts recognize the value volunteers bring, it helps to translate that intrinsic knowledge to hard, cold numbers. Each year, Independent Sector publishes its estimation of the value of an hour of volunteer time. The most recently released rate from April 2018 was $24.69 per hour on average. With this hourly rate, you can determine the dollar value your annual volunteers are contributing to your district. If you average 10 volunteers, each volunteering 120 hours per year (10 hours per month), that equates to approximately $30,000 of donated time. With your volunteer time converted into dollars, you now have an added tool in your bag when you need it.
  2. Grants, Partners, and more, oh my! One way to leverage your new tool is in applying for grants or partnerships. Often lenders and partners want data-driven applications and information before sharing financial resources with a school district. The value of volunteer time is one of the many ways to secure grants, community partners, and additional funding from school administrators. It can be used to demonstrate a clear need the school may have, or stand apart from others competing for the same funding.
  3. Volunteer Appreciation and Identification of Your MVPs. Just as employees receive appreciation for a job well done, so should volunteers. Tracking your volunteer time and activity offers you an objective means of volunteer appreciation. You can easily note who has devoted the most time to volunteer activity in your school district, and even better, you can clearly identify your strongest volunteers based on time volunteered and the number of different volunteer activities.
  4. Stay Ahead of the Legislative Curve. In many states, legislators are making changes to the laws which affect education. Many are now requiring schools and school districts to track volunteer time and activity. By tracking now, you will be well ahead of the legislative curve if your state is planning to require tracking in the near future.